Alt. Wine Bar

Top Wine Bars Etc
  • Wine glass icon
    An eclectic mix of around the 200 wines on the list, constantly evolving.
  • Fork icon
    Modern Australian cuisine
  • Dollar icon
    $10 – $38
  • Music notes icon
    A state of the art sound system installed
  • Folding chair icon
    30 seats indoor, 28 seats outdoor

The lowdown

It’s a big step for a chef to open a wine bar and shift food into second place behind the wine offerings, but Adam Robinson has achieved this by creating his ideal neighbourhood bar in suburban Adelaide, having a hand in everything from the interior design to the menu.

The regular’s tip

Music is a big feature, with a state-of-the-art sound system installed and two resident female DJs on Friday and Saturday evenings, plus local musicians playing acoustic sessions each Sunday afternoon.

The nuts and bolts

  • Wheelchair access
  • Indoor and outdoor dining
  • Tasting size portions of wine offered
  • Relaxed and vibrant atmosphere
  • Plumm glassware
  • Larger groups welcome
  • Bar seating

Bar owner and chef Adam Robinson previously placed food first in his priorities, but since opening alt Wine Bar, he’s designing food as the supporting act to beverages for the first time in his career – and he’s loving it. He built this vision after finding a shopfront in busy

King William Road, in the affluent Adelaide suburb of Hyde Park, which has great bakeries, cafes and restaurants. “What was missing was the best type of wine bar offering a cheeky glass for locals.”

He designed a cosy 30-seat space that was intentionally monochromatic to pay homage to all the beautiful wine bottles that line the northern wall. “Essentially, it’s an ever-evolving art installation,” explains Robinson.

Elsewhere, he has played with texture, from distressed brick walls, a rough-rendered bar and live edge of the communal dining table made from 150-year-old redgum, to smooth black dune marble table tops and lush black velvet upholstery.

Venue manager and wine buyer Courtney Price has built a list of more 200 bottles, but holds weekly wine meetings to present an updated and reprinted list with new additions and rotations. “The list is curated differently. We don’t group wines by varietals, but instead by tasting notes, such as Crisp and Mineral, or Rich Big Boys or Mid-weight: Max Enjoyment. It helps make the list far more approachable. We’re a neighbourhood bar with a wide and varied demographic, so we like to think there is something for all palettes.”

On the menu, Robinson calls his snacks “seated canapés”, which are designed to be ordered individually, along with substantial share plates for communal dining, and regular specials that highlight seasonal produce from quality local suppliers.

He credits his staff for making the whole experience knit together. “I have staff who make wine, staff who distribute wine, multiple staff who study Viticulture and Oenology – and that love for wine is reflected in their customer service,” says Robinson. “They can confidently lead a customer through a unique experience but also provide a place for comforting classics. I think of it as being exclusive and elegant, but also approachable and inclusive.”

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